With Baker Mayfield ailing, Cleveland Browns to start Case Keenum vs. Denver Broncos

The Cleveland Browns will start quarterback Case Keenum on Thursday against the Denver Broncos as Baker Mayfield continues to deal with a torn labrum in his nonthrowing shoulder.

Mayfield had hoped to play in Thursday night’s game despite the injury, which is set to keep him out of his first contest since taking over the Browns’ starting quarterback role in Week 3 of the 2018 season.

“Obviously if I was in a physical state where I wasn’t able to play to the best of my abilities and I was hurting the team, I wouldn’t do that because I care about winning,” Mayfield said Tuesday. “… Only I know how my body feels. If anyone questions whether I’m hindering the team and going out there injured, that’s just not right. It’s my decision. I get to say whether I’m able to play or not, and that’s just how it is.”

A league source told ESPN’s Jake Trotter on Tuesday that the Browns hope Mayfield will avoid season-ending surgery.

Mayfield suffered the shoulder injury — initially reported as a partially torn labrum — on Sept. 19 against the Houston Texans while attempting to make a tackle after throwing an interception. He continued to play through it, wearing a harness on the shoulder for support, but aggravated the injury Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals.

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